The glacier, located high in the Andes Mountains, is only one of many ice tongues retreating on the Quelccaya Ice Cap, the largest body of ice in the tropics, said Lonnie Thompson, a professor of Earth sciences a paleoclimatologist at Ohio State University.
"These glaciers are going to be gone," he says. "If you are living at the base of one of these mountains, it doesn't matter why they're disappearing -- only that they are. Millions of people are going to have to adapt to these changes, many of which will occur in some of the poorest regions of the globe."
He detailed his fears last week in San Francisco during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]